The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict any day on two appeals filed over the life imprisonment sentence of war trial convict Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah.
This was revealed Tuesday when the Appellate Division of the SC ended its hearing on the appeals — one filed by the convict and the other by government.
Mollah, assistant secretary general of Jamaat which was instrumental against the birth of Bangladesh during the 1971 War of Independence, was handed life term imprisonment on February 5.
Considering the sentence too lenient for offences Mollah, who was known as Koshai Mollah (Butcher Mollah) for his notoriety during the Liberation War, thousands of people, mostly youths, gathered at Shahbagh to demand death sentence for him.
While the demonstration continued for weeks, the parliament amended the law International Crimes Tribunal law to allow the government appeal against any verdict.
On March 3, the government filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, seeking death penalty for Mollah for each of the six charges brought against him.
The convict, on the other hand, filed a separate appeal with the same court the following day, seeking acquittal on all charges.
The five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain wrapped up the hearing on both the appeals on Tuesday with Attorney General Mahbubey Alam placing the closing argument before the court.
In his argument, the attorney general said the government appeal seeking a death penalty for Mollah is acceptable as the amendment to International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973, which cleared the way for appealing against inadequate sentence of a convict, is valid and applicable to the case.
He prayed to the court to accept the government appeal and award capital punishment to Mollah for his crimes against humanity during the country’s Liberation War in 1971.
The Appellate Division heard arguments from the counsels of the government and Mollah and seven amicus curiae (friend of court), on the appeals for 35 days.
Among the amicus curiae, five opined that the amended ICT act is applicable to the Mollah case while two others opposed the opinion.